Drawn to the Music Guidelines

Music – Petrushka Ballet Suite by Igor Stravinsky.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnXOpItfb9Y

Drawn to the Music 2023 Teacher Instructions


Thank you for participating. Instructions are below.  If you have questions feel free to call Toni at 603-785-8770 or email toni@nhphil.org.   


1. Listen to the inspiration piece: See above and below for reference.


2. Ask students to illustrate as many scenes as possible for consideration.

3. Please use paper/canvas no larger than 8.5" x 11". Please use fixative on pastels and be sure oil/acrylics are dry before sending the artwork to the NH Phil.

4. Clearly label each submission on the back with student name, grade, teacher's name, and the title of the scene being depicted.  Submissions without this information will not be considered. 

5. The number of works chosen for display will depend on the total number of submissions.

6. Please send all submissions by December 31, 2022 to:

NH Philharmonic

Attn: Drawn to the Music

P.O. Box 1651

Concord, NH 03302

7. Music – Petrushka Ballet Suite by Igor Stravinsky


Performance – A full performance of the ballet is on You Tube:




Storyline Synopsis - Petrushka tells the story of the loves and jealousies of three puppets. The three are brought to life by the Magician during the 1830 Shrovetide Fair (Maslenitsa) in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Petrushka loves the Ballerina, but she rejects him. She prefers the Moor. Petrushka is angry and hurt, and challenges the Moor. The Moor kills him with his sword. Petrushka's ghost rises above the puppet theatre as night falls. He shakes his fist at the Magician, then collapses in a second death.


Music Structure – The story of Petrushka is told in four movements, or tableaus, in the ballet music.


First tableau: The Shrovetide Fair


Petrushka begins with a festive orchestral introduction based, in part, on historical Russian street-hawkers' cries. The curtain rises to reveal St. Petersburg’s Admiralty Square during the 1830s. The stage set depicts several hucksters' booths, a ferris-wheel, a carousel, and a puppet theater. A crowd has gathered for the Shrovetide Fair, the carnival analogous to Mardi Gras preceding Lent.


A group of Revelers emerges from the crowd, dancing to Stravinsky's adaptation of the folk-tune

Suddenly, the festive music is interrupted by strident brass announcing the appearance of the Master of Ceremonies on the balcony of his booth. The equivalent of a carnival "barker", he boasts of the attractions to be seen within.


The squeaks of a street-organ are heard as an Organ-Grinder and Dancing Girl emerge from the crowd, which at first pays little attention as the barker continues to shout. The Dancer moves and begins to dance to another Russian folksong, while playing the triangle.


At the other end of the stage, a second Dancing Girl appears, accompanied by a music box. The two Dancing Girls compete for the crowd's attention to the strains of a French music-hall song.

The Revelers return interrupted several times by the Barker's boasts. The street-hawkers' cries of the very opening are heard once more.


Suddenly, two drummers summon the crowd to the puppet theater with deafening drumrolls. The Magician (sometimes called the "Charlatan") appears to mystical groans from the bassoon and contrabassoon. When he has everyone's attention, he produces a flute and begins to play a long, improvisatory melody. The curtain of the puppet theater rises to reveal three puppets hanging on the wall: the Moor, the Ballerina, and Petrushka. When the Magician touches them with his flute, they seem to awaken.


The astonished crowd watches as, with a wave of the Magician's hand, the three puppets begin a vigorous Russian Dance. They first begin to move their feet (while still hanging on the wall), then burst forth from the puppet theater into the midst of the crowd. The Moor (resplendent in turban and exaggerated pantaloons) is swashbuckling. The Ballerina dances perpetually en pointe. Petrushka, on the other hand, is wooden and awkward. It becomes apparent Petrushka loves the Ballerina; but she has eyes only for the Moor. The Magician calls the dance to a halt; the curtain falls rapidly.

Second tableau: Petrushka's Room


Although Petrushka's room is inside the puppet theater, his room design is fantastical, portraying the night sky with stars and a half-moon; abstract icebergs (or snow-capped mountains), and a prominent portrait of the Magician.


Drumrolls announce the beginning of the second tableau. Without an Introduction, the music begins menacingly. "A foot kicks him onstage; Petrushka falls...


As Petrushka gradually pulls himself together, we hear strange music in the clarinets. Petrushka gets to his feet (although shakily) to the accompaniment of waves of music from the piano. A demonic sound from the trumpets is directed at the portrait of the Magician.


The music turns lyrical as Petrushka falls to his knees and mimes (in turn) his self-pity, love for the Ballerina, and hatred of the Magician.


The Ballerina (still en pointe) sneaks into Petrushka's room, at first unnoticed. As soon as Petrushka sees her, he begins a manic, athletic display of leaps and frantic gestures (although he was barely able to stand before she arrived). Frightened by his exuberance, the Ballerina flees. Petrushka falls to the floor to the mocking of the clarinets.


Another passage of music from the piano grows into a second round of curses directed at the Magician, again represented musically by the violent chords scored for full orchestra.


For just a moment, Petrushka peers out of his room at the crowd assembled in Admiralty Square. Then, Petrushka collapses as we hear a taunting reprise of the clarinets, followed by an odd trumpet call signaling "blackout, curtain."


Third tableau: The Moor's Room


As before, drumrolls link the third tableau to its predecessor. In sharp contrast to the darkness of Petrushka's Room, the brilliant colors of the design for the Moor's Room evoke a romanticized desert: palm trees, exotic flowers, sand.


The Moor reclines on a divan playing with a coconut. He then jumps to his feet and attempts to cut it with his scimitar. When he fails, he believes that the coconut must be a god and proceeds to pray to it.


The Magician places the Ballerina in the Moor's room. The Ballerina is attracted to the Moor's handsome appearance. She plays a saucy tune on a toy trumpet then dances with the Moor in a waltz.


Petrushka finally breaks free from his cell; he interrupts the Moor and the Ballerina. Petrushka attacks the Moor but soon realizes he is too small and weak. The Moor beats Petrushka. The ballerina faints. The clown-puppet flees for his life, with the Moor chasing him, and escapes from the room.


Fourth tableau: The Shrovetide Fair (Toward Evening)


The fourth and final scene returns to the carnival. Some time has passed; it is now early evening. The orchestra introduces a chain of colorful dances as a series of apparently unrelated characters come and go about the stage as snow begins to fall. The first and most prominent is the Nurses' Dance, then comes a peasant with his dancing bear, followed in turn by a group of peasants, coachmen and grooms and masqueraders.

As the merrymaking reaches its peak, a cry is heard from the puppet-theater. Petrushka suddenly runs across the scene, followed by the Moor in hot pursuit brandishing his sword, and the terrified Ballerina chasing after the Moor, fearful of what he might do. The crowd is horrified when the Moor catches up with Petrushka and slays him with a single stroke of his blade.


The police question the Magician. The Magician seeks to restore calm by holding the "corpse" above his head and shaking it to remind everyone that Petrushka is but a puppet.


As night falls and the crowd disperses, the Magician leaves, carrying Petrushka's limp body. Suddenly, Petrushka's ghost appears on the roof of the little theatre, his cry now in the form of angry defiance. Petrushka's spirit thumbs its nose at his tormentor from beyond the wood and straw of his carcass.


Now completely alone, the Magician is terrified to see the leering ghost of Petrushka. He runs away while allowing himself a single frightened glance over his shoulder. The scene is hushed, leaving the audience to wonder who is "real" and who is not.




The following list of titles describes the choreographic scenes of the ballet. Each of these scenes can provide the subject for a drawing by your students. We recommend that your students present drawings for as many of these scenes as possible, as we will be projecting these images above the orchestra during the performance, and we want to tell the story of Petruska as completely as possible. Effectively, we will have a ballet of drawings.

  • First tableau: The Shrovetide Fair

  1. [Introduction]

  2. A group of Drunken Revelers passes, dancing

  3. The Master of Ceremonies entertains the Crowd from his booth above

  4. An Organ-Grinder appears in the Crowd with a [woman] Dancer

  5. The Organ-Grinder begins to play

  6. The Dancer dances, beating time on the triangle

  7. At the other end of the stage a Music Box plays, another [woman] Dancer dancing around it.

  8. The first Dancer plays the triangle again

  9. The Organ and Music Box stop playing; the Master of Ceremonies resumes his pitch

  10. The Merry Group returns

  11. Two Drummers, stepping up in front of the Little Theater, attract the attention of the Crowd by their drumrolls

  12. At the front of [i.e., from inside] the Little Theater appears the Old Magician.

  13. The Magic Trick

    1. The Magician plays the flute

    2. The curtain of the Little Theater opens and the Crowd sees three puppets: Petrushka (Guignol), a Moor, and a Ballerina

    3. The Magician brings them to life by touching them lightly with his flute.

  14. Russian Dance

    1. Petrushka, the Moor, and the Ballerina suddenly begin to dance, to the great astonishment of the Crowd

    2. Darkness, the Curtain falls


  • Second tableau: Petrushka's Room

  1. As the Curtain rises, the door to Petrushka's room opens suddenly; a foot kicks him onstage; Petrushka falls and the door closes again behind him

  2. Petrushka's curses

  3. The Ballerina enters

  4. The Ballerina leaves

  5. Petrushka's despair

  6. Darkness. Curtain.


  • Third tableau: The Moor's Room'

  1. [Introduction]

  2. The Moor dances

  3. Appearance of the Ballerina

  4. Dance of the Ballerina (cornet in hand)

  5. Waltz (the Ballerina and the Moor)

  6. The Moor and the Ballerina prick up their ears

  7. Appearance of Petrushka

  8. The Fight between the Moor and Petrushka. The Ballerina faints.

  9. The Moor throws Petrushka Out. Darkness. Curtain.


  • Fourth tableau: The Shrovetide Fair (Toward Evening)

  1. [Introduction]

  2. The Wet-Nurses' Dance

  3. A Peasant enters with a Bear. Everyone scatters.

  4. The Peasant plays the pipe. The Bear walks on his hind feet.

  5. The Peasant and the Bear leave.

  6. A Reveling Merchant and two Gypsy Women Enter. He irresponsibly amuses himself by throwing bank notes to the Crowd.

  7. The Gypsy Women dance. The Merchant plays the accordion.

  8. The Merchant and the Gypsies leave

  9. Dance of the Coachmen and the Grooms

    1. The Wet-Nurses dance with the Coachmen and the Grooms

  10. The Mummers

    1. The Devil (Mummer) induces the Crowd to frolic with him

    2. Buffoonery of the Mummers (Goat and Pig)

    3. The Mummers and the Maskers dance

    4. The rest of the Crowd joins in the Mummers' Dance

    5. The Crowd continues to dance without taking notice of the cries coming from the Little Theater.

  11. The dances break off. Petrushka dashes from the Little Theater, pursued by the Moor, whom the Ballerina tries to restrain.

  12. The furious Moor seizes him and strikes him with his saber.

  13. Petrushka falls, his head broken

  14. A crowd forms around Petrushka

  15. He dies, still moaning.

  16. A Police Officer is sent to look for the Magician

  17. The Magician arrives

  18. He picks up Petrushka's corpse, shaking it.

  19. The Crowd disperses.

  20. The Magician remains alone on stage. He drags Petrushka's corpse toward the Little Theater.

  21. Above the Little Theater appears the Ghost of Petrushka, menacing, thumbing his nose at the Magician.

  22. The terrified Magician lets the Puppet-Petrushka drop from his hands, and exits quickly, casting frightened glances over his shoulder.

  23. Curtain